Friday, October 2, 2009

Amish Peace by Suzanne Woods Fisher

I have always been a bit fascinated with the Amish and I think it is due to their simpler and slower lives. This book shows you how to have this peace in your life every day, even if you are not Amish.

Take a look around you. Everyone is rushing around with endless to-do lists and back-to-back deadlines, barely able to catch a breath. Everyone, that is, except the Amish. Living on the outskirts of modernity, the Amish are icons for a simpler life and a slower pace. It’s this allure—something of a sanctuary, suspended in time—that draws millions of tourists to travel to Amish country every year.

“The Amish are the only people I have ever known who seem to have a handle on inner peace,” says Suzanne Woods Fisher. Fisher recently published Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World, in which she explores the tranquility that marks their lives.
“It’s easy to get distracted by the buggies and beards and bonnets,” she says. “From the outside, the Amish can seem quaint and old-fashioned. But there’s much we can learn from them.” She would know because she’s spent most of her life alongside these people: Her relatives are members of the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church, which shares similar values to the Amish.

Interviewing dozens of Amish for her book to gain a deeper understanding of their steadfast peace, Fisher got a closer look into the daily struggles and triumphs of the Amish. She shares these touching, real-life stories in the pages of Amish Peace.

For example, she got to know some of the Amish families who lost children in the West Nickel Mines School shooting. Even in the face of that kind of tragedy, she saw how the Amish community found calm by trusting in God’s sovereignty. “We just have to keep going on,” remarked one Amish woman whose family members were among the victims. “People think we’re perfect, but we’re not. Yet we can’t dwell on what happened. We have to leave it in God’s hands.” That fundamental belief also enabled them to extend incredible, almost immediate forgiveness to the gunman and his family.

Through her conversations and interactions with the Amish, she looks at how their enduring peace is rooted in their appreciation for five key elements: simplicity, time, community, forgiveness and their faith. Whether it’s living with only necessities, spending time with family or learning that the world is larger than our feeble understanding, those attitudes provide the framework that allows them to find solace in spite of life’s unpredictable circumstances.
“We don’t have to ‘go Amish’ to find true peace,” Fisher says. “Instead, we can learn from the example they’ve set and incorporate some of their lessons into our own lives. That’s what Amish Peace is all about—being inspired by the best of the Amish way of life.”

Who are the Amish?
The Amish trace their roots back to the Anabaptist movement, which began in sixteenth-century Europe. A group of religious radicals rejected the common practice of infant baptism and, instead, affirmed an adult’s “believer baptism.” Descendants of this Anabaptist movement are known today as the Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, Hutterites, Church of the Brethren, and Brethren in Christ. A common element among all these groups is their emphasis on developing character, honoring God, avoiding temptation and sin, and living plainly.


Suzanne Woods Fisher’s interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, W. D. Benedict, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Benedict left the colony, amicably, and eventually became publisher of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne’s work has appeared in many magazines, including Today’s Christian Woman, Worldwide Challenge, ParentLife, Christian Parenting Today, Marriage Partnership, and many others. She has contributed to several nonfiction books and is the author of three novels. Fisher lives in California.

Available October 2009 from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, or here.

God loves YOU!

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